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A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual: A Celebration of the Darkness and the Light with Songs and Stories|
A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual: A Celebration of the Darkness and the Light with Songs and Stories
Author: Middleton & Morgan-Appel
Publisher: Emerald Earth Publishing
Category: Ritual; Sabbats; Music Level: All
The book and accompanying CD packages a complete ritual and performance so that circles, churches and choirs can share the ancient celebration of Winter Solstice with their communities. The book includes a script, sheet music for 15 songs, chants, rounds and sing-alongs, plus the performance rights and notes on production, ritual and music. The CD features performances of the music, with teaching tracks for more difficult pieces.
"At the year's darkest time, we raise our voices in song and celebration. This song-filled ritual embraces the dark and welcomes the light's return, in a way that is feels both ancient and contemporary."
Patricia Monaghan, Author
"Enter into the darkness and come out the other side transformed. Ms. Middleton & Ms. Morgan-Appel have designed a ritual that welcomes you into the depth of who you are. Meditate, pray and sing your way into the new year with purpose and intention. It is in the darkness that the seeds for growth are sown. I think you’ve done something wonderful. Good for you! And good for the world!"
Ann Keeler Evans, M.Div., Priestess of A Communion of Women
"This Winter Solstice ritual package proves once again that there is always a new and beautiful way to express the hope inherent in the oldest of holidays. Just as the Winter Solstice is about renewal of light and life, this ritual is about the renewal of the fire of community."
Ivo Dominguez Jr., Elder, Assembly of the Sacred Wheel
"What a fabulous project! This book bridges the gap for those who want to add music to their rituals but don’t read music and are unsure of their group leading skills. With its seamless integration of script, music, and production notes, this will allow Winter Solstice celebrations to spring up out of the fertile ground of many nature-celebrating communities. This is an excellent resource, and the CD is so well done it will surely be a Solstice favorite for years to come."
Anne Hill, Serpentine Music
"A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual is superb! A participatory ritual of song, narrative, meditation and action, it takes everyone—the audience, the narrators, the singers—deep into the darkness, then journeys through that darkness to greet the joyous return of light. Perfect for choirs and choruses who are searching for something out of the ordinary for all faiths to celebrate the season. This is a gem!"
Sylvia Sims, Feminist Spiritual Community, Portland, Maine
"The authors have considered and addressed every conceivable issue organizers might encounter in presenting such an event, not only the music, words and the ritual script itself, but also venue considerations, program, props, advertising -- everything! Blending art and ritual elements from several sources, they weave it seamlessly into an exquisite ritual that offers the opportunity for both community and personal transformation. Whether you're an experienced ritualist or someone who has never contemplated designing and producing a ritual, this book is a treasure."
M. Macha NightMare
Author of Witchcraft and the Web
"A first — in one box, everything you need to create a powerful and musically exquisite ritual celebration for the magic of Winter Solstice. The teaching tools are so good, that amateur singers will astound their communities with the beauty and richness of the music."
Robert Gass EdD
Author: Chant: Discovering Spirit in Sound
"Is it theatre? ritual? Middleton & Morgan-Appel offer the blueprint for an event that sweeps us through some of the world's great myths and traditions centered around the turning of the longest night. With abundant notes & instructions, it's a fool-proof recipe for community action of the sweetest kind, based on singing, storytelling, reclaiming people's right to do both!"
Ellen Kushner, Host of public radio's "Sound & Spirit"
"A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual looks wonderful! As a UU choir director, I think the inclusion of both sheet music and the teaching tracks on CD is its best feature. That helps us include people who don't read sheet music! Having planned both rituals and performances, I appreciate the amount of detail included in this ritual, especially the background and comments as to the focus and feelings. The readings and music have obviously been chosen with great care to evoke the spirit of the season. And the checklists are great for the "details" person in me! This is way too cool, I can't wait to show it to singers and get it started for this year's Winter Solstice!
Gretchen Ohmann, Choir Director, Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship,
St. Joseph, Michigan and Member, Women's Drumming Circle and Chorus, South Bend, Indiana
Reviews of the Ritual
"[In December] when I notice myself mentally griping about how short the days are, I remember the lessons of the Solstice ritual — seeds grow in the dark, babies grow in the dark. And I can breathe and appreciate the darkness. And I’ve been to 4 years’ worth of Solstice rituals."
Jeff Maxson, Quaker
"[This ritual] gave me a surprising feeling of hope. Not just due to the great choral music, but due to a cosmology that was apparently clear-eyed about our world."
Nick Sodano, Mt. Holly, NJ
"It was great to hear a choir singing Pagan material!"
Jesse Platager, Wiccan
"This ritual deepened my resolve to investigate the Goddess."
Trish Walat, Quaker
"This was a wonderful ritual. I loved singing along, and the part about our own lights was deep for me."
"Very moving to attend a Pagan service that was public — in a civic space — and polished!"
"I feel less oppressed by winter."
"I felt a sense of belonging to a new tradition. The music was inspirational; the experience was uplifting and heartwarming."
Lisa Levinson, Jewish-Pagan
"Uplifting, balancing, comforting, inspirational. A very positive experience."
Valorie Dove, Wiccan
"I was very moved and reminded of faith and hope in the darkness."
Margaret Thompson, Quaker/Earth-centered Pagan
"Provides a format for outreach that allows you to display a complete, eclectic Pagan Solstice ritual in a way that’s accessible to people you’ve never been exposed to Paganism before."
Bob Bruhin, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the Pagan Pride Project
"What this ritual does for me is to define a common ground where communication is possible between Pagans and non-Pagans."
Franklin J. Evans, Delaware Valley Pagan Network
Author's Notes: We have done this ritual with groups small and large, with a choir and without, and I'm pleased to report it really does work with groups of various sizes!
Where To Buy: Nationally and internationally, from Emerald Earth Publishing:
~ US Postal Service: PO Box 1946, Sebastopol CA 95473
~ Phone/fax: 707.829.2115
~ email: Julie@EmeraldEarth.net
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